08-29-11 | Blog Post

UPS Upgrade & Overhaul: Recommendations for a Successful UPS Upgrade

Blog Posts

Online Tech recently upgraded their UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system at their Mid-Michigan data center in May 2011. Although the company ran the risk of potential downtime, Online Tech’s Director of Operations, Jason Yaeger, acknowledged that the data center’s pooled UPS units were nearing the end of their recommended lifetime of service.


The big overhaul required moving over 90,000 pounds of equipment over a raised floor and enlisting a team of eight employees, vendors and contractors, including relocators, electricians, riggers, generator maintenance and battery maintenance resources to complete the upgrade while still maintaining 100% uptime for clients.

The process of replacing three pooled UPS units and the controller took careful preparation and in-depth quality comparisons – Yaeger visited factories to review equipment specifications and performance while evaluating customer references from companies with existing installed equipment. Online Tech ended up choosing an APC MGE EPS 8000 from Schneider Electric, investing nearly $750,000 on the upgraded UPS units. The data center also benefits from increased energy efficiency and 1.5 MW power capacity at N+1 redundancy.

How do data center clients benefit from the UPS upgrade?
“Increased resiliency and MGE’s un-paralleled load protection will benefit our clients the most,” said Yaeger, “while increased power capacity and improved energy help us the most.”

Data Center UPS Upgrade
Data Center UPS Upgrade

Extensive testing was also required before implementation to discover any potential problems or disruptions that might have caused downtime.

Online Tech ran preliminary tests by disconnecting an unused UPS and testing the switchover to generator power. The generator backup ran for three consecutive days while the UPS replacement took place. The thermal scans and full load test were run after the installation process was complete. In addition to the UPS replacement, Online Tech also restrung nearly 100 jars in the data center’s battery bank.

Online Tech’s Recommendations for a Successful UPS Upgrade (as reported to TheWhir.com):

  • Take the time to meet with potential vendors in person – relying on a vendor’s old reputation can backfire.
  • Visit critical vendors to review the equipment. Don’t trust your entire data center to machines you’ve never witnessed.
  • Request detailed documentation of the procedural methods from all vendors under consideration, and review the plan with company stakeholders.
  • Keep consistent, open communication and honesty with your stakeholders and clients about any data center changes. Online Tech sent multiple notifications, 30 days in advance to all clients to ensure they were aware of the worst case scenario. Make sure they know you’re on standby to address any problems and eliminate any surprises.
Get the full story and more photos of the UPS upgrade: /operations/locations/michigan-cloud-and-data-centers//locations/mid-michigan-data-center/ups-upgrades

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